Church Army Evangelists Roger Horsley and Paul Warren, and Mission-based Trainees Damien Hine and Dawn Hudson, are establishing the Warwick Gates Centre of Mission, in the Diocese of Coventry.
There are a vast number of people spread out across the whole parish who would never cross the threshold of the church buildings. Church Army is developing long-term relationships with these people, so that they can share the love of Jesus in ways that are relevant to them.
Roger says: “My vision is to see Warwick Gates Community Church become an essential part of the area and to see Christian community built on the housing estate. I long for the day when the people on this highly populated estate feel like they belong, and are accepted unconditionally, instead of the current situation of people feeling isolated or lonely.”
The work of Church Army is rooted in the community, and includes a strong partnership with local schools: taking assemblies, Religious Education lessons, running an after school family service called ‘Kidzone’, and also a youth group called Pizza and Prayer (where the team try to answer questions about the Bible, faith, or life in general).
Paul says: “In the new community centre we have already established a toddler group called Ready Steady Grow. We aim to provide a place where parents and carers can bring small children, and where they can all grow in their knowledge of Jesus. We are also hoping to use the building for drop-in centres and homework clubs, amongst other things.
We are also using the local allotments to reach out to men of all ages. I hope and pray that by next harvest time we will be able to have a harvest allotment service, and that it will become a regular part of our programme.”
Many people on the housing estate work at Jaguar Land Rover Aston Martin, where Roger is the Chaplain. “I want to offer practical and spiritual support to people where they work,” says Roger, “and I have been running an Alpha Course there, to help Christians share their faith with
The team also gives out free bread, every month, to people living in social housing within the parish. This has led to many amazing, personal conversations, including that with a young man who was so touched by this form of outreach that he is now part of the church.
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